Former senior vice president for advertising and commerce at Google Sridhar Ramaswamy is getting ready to launch a new search engine called Neeva.
After 15 years at Google, Mr. Ramaswamy grew disillusioned with the business he had helped build. Growth was too much of a priority for Google, he said, that came at a heavy cost to its users.
Neeva is set to become a direct competitor to Google. The key difference between these two search engines is that Neeva will have no advertising and be subscription-supported.
Neeva is planned to neither track nor collect information about its users.
At the same time, Neeva’s search results will be personalized. Personal files of users will be available to Neeva if users link their Google, Microsoft Office or Dropbox account to the search engine. Neeva will use existing content and data sources: Bing, Apple maps, weather.com, Intrinio. It will also sift through personal files like email and “local” documents. Neeva will “understand” users’ contacts, emails from retailers, newsletters, and other information.
Neeva will initially be free. Then, a monthly subscription will cost no more than $10. The price is likely to be brought down over time as more users sign up.
The launch date remains unknown. Users can sign up for early access at the Neeva website. Initial users will be able to use Neeva for free until the end of the year.